Our first defense against aquatic hitchhikers is prevention. Our second defense is detection and monitoring of waters.
Early detection and rapid control are critical to saving a body of water. Once nuisance species become widely dispersed, particularly invasive weeds and zebra mussels, eradicating them becomes difficult and almost impossible.
Therefore, the more eyes we have looking for nuisance species the better. If nuisance species are discovered early, management programs can begin immediately to reduce environmental damage and economic costs.
If you care about a lake, learn which nuisance species are of the greatest threat to it. You can do this by visiting a state or regional site that lists nuisance species. If aquatic hitchhikers are in other waters near your lake or stream, you'll need to be on high alert.
Learn to identify those species of most concern.
Call your local state fish and wildlife agency to find out the individual to whom you need to report sightings.
Pass out nuisance species watch cards to others using the lake and provide everyone the contact phone number
Put up posters listing and showing species of concern and include the contact phone number.
Put up STOP AQUATIC HITCHHIKER signs
Your local state fish and wildlife agency and/or Sea Grant program may offer trainings, workshops and/or biological control methods where you can assist. For example, to rear and release beetles in you area that help control Purple Loosestrife, see the list of Loosestrife Control Contacts.